Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Is anyone else tired of being called a consumer?

I'm really very sick of it. Corporations don't have any respect for people, and I can't do much about that, but I'm all for changing the language.

Call me a customer. Call me a patron. But unless I'm buying food, don't call me a consumer!


While I'm on the subject, planned obsolescence just drives me crazy. I also learned myself a new term today: perceived obsolescence. I'm looking at my 4-year-old cell phone and thinking, Geez, I wish it had a camera. I'm looking at my 3-year-old MP3 player and thinking, I wish it played videos and wasn't so scratched up.

Why? They both work fine. I have a digital camera. I have a laptop I can watch videos on. What is the problem?

The new things are just so darned shiny.

Or am I just bitter because I'm broke? Who can say..?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sick world

"We live in a sick world.

We all know that.

Please cancel the next shocking reminder."

- Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen, April 18, 2007

Caught my eye in today's paper. My condolences to the people at Virginia Tech.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More programming

I gave up on C++ cos it's harder than I remember.

Staring at sample code for Visual Basic was giving me a headache, so I read the tutorials and made myself a web browser; that is apparently the Hello World! of the 21st century. We've come a loooong way since SCREEN 9 and PSET.

I've also concluded that I don't care enough to make a Heroes screensaver, but I might resurrect an idea I had a couple of months ago for a lightweight TabletPC animation sketch program..? Something along the lines of a pad of Post-It notes and a ballpoint pen.

Well, I'll probably lose interest first, but I was surprised when I couldn't find any decent free programs for that purpose. Everything I could find was way too feature-heavy, slow, and complicated. Forget features--I want tiny, free programs that do one thing.

But that's just me.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Programming? Eh...

For some reason I thought it might be fun to download the Free versions of MS Visual Studio C++ and VBasic and also the DirectX SDK. Why? I don't know. I always get it into my head that programming is fun because I remember writing little programs in QBASIC a million years ago for drawing bouncing balls and stuff.

It's not actually all that fun. Especially when you've totally forgotten how to do it. I haven't written an actual program that, y'know, worked since high school.

Anyway, for some reason I decided I really wanted to make a screen saver that looked like the scrolling DNA on Heroes.


Something like that. I have no idea why I want one so badly. (The worst thing is that it's easy as heck to do--at least badly--in HTML but I have no idea how to do it in C++.)

Anyway, the installations went pretty smoothly, and the software seems to have improved a bit since I last used it. The DirectX SDK took, I don't know, a month and a half to insall though. You have to download a 400MB+ installation file, which decompresses, then it has to unzip to a temp directory (over 1GB), then it installs. The last step alone took about half an hour.

Well, I don't know if I'll ever manage to make the .scr, but I'll give it a shot.

These are a couple of my favourite free screensavers:
The Amazing Spider-Man 3D - sadly my laptop doesn't seem to have the power for this one, but my much older desktop does.
Matrix Code Emulator - closest of all the Matrix screensavers I've seen to the look of the falling code in the original film. Which of course is the only real Matrix movie.

Friday, November 17, 2006


School & studying is killing me dead.

Please enjoy this token of my stress.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Election time!

Municipal elections were today.

I know it's not as big a deal as the midterm elections in the States, but anyway. Larry O'Brien is now the mayor of the City of Ottawa... and I'm not really sure how. Alex Munter was apparently leading in polls by a decent margin until last week. Something must have happened while I wasn't looking.

You win some, you lose some. Mr. O'Brien apparently promised to freeze taxes, but didn't say how. He's against burying power lines in one of the city's major pedestrian shopping areas, even though the streets aren't due to be torn up again for another 50 years and it's never going to be cheaper or easier. He's against a pesticide ban, because he apparently doesn't believe there's evidence of health-damaging effects of pesticides. Uh, what?

Oh yeah, and I think he's going to scrap the Light Rail plan, or change it. No opinion on that.

Clive Doucet has been re-elected as councillor, though.

OK, I cast my ballot and--satisfied that I have done my democratic duty, for all the good it did--I'm going back to writing papers now.

Link of the day:
Family planning doctor 'told patient she needed exorcism'

Friday, November 10, 2006

Spent another hour or so on this drawing. Still not done, but what the heck.


Couple of term papers due in a few days. Nothing important happened today.

(Knock on wood.)